Saturday, March 28, 2015


I had a great day out in Leicester yesterday.

The city has been celebrating all week. In case you hadn't noticed we had King Richard III to reinter in the cathedral. I was lucky enough to be picked in the public ballot and got my seat at the Service of Reveal yesterday. It was a really good service. I really did enjoy it.

Afterwards I hooked up with my GF and another friend and we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening drinking a few toasts to RIII. We were also celebrating my shiny new callsign and generally not being in work. It's fair to say that a good time was had by all.

There'll never be another day like it but that's what memories are for.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Am Ham

So here it is. My callsign.

I'm really pleased that I only had to wait a week. By all accounts that isn't a long time so thank you to the RSGB and Ofcom.

If you're on the air and hear me calling CQ then stop for a chat. I got into amateur radio because I had exhausted my knowledge as a SWL so I'm always keen to learn from the more experienced members of the ham community.
I did call CQ a couple of times tonight without a reply so I'll be trying again tomorrow.
And forever more.

Friday, March 20, 2015


There has been a lot of science in my life over the past couple of days.

On Wednesday and Thursday I was studying for my Amateur Radio Foundation Licence. I did the exam last night and got an indicative score of 25/26. That's a pass but I still need confirmation which I should get in the next couple of weeks.

This morning was the solar eclipse which I watched and photographed from my garden. All very exciting. I probably won't get to see anything as spectacular again in my lifetime but never say never.

It got me thinking that if as a race of people, the human race that is, that if we spent as much time and money on scientific pursuits as we do on war and conflict then we could be amazed every day. It seems very odd that as a fragile race on a fragile planet that we're hell bent on burning bridges instead of building them. We, as a collective, should rethink our aims.

That's one thing I really enjoy about amateur radio. It's about contact without borders, without prejudice and with the aim of bringing all people whoever they are together. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad I passed my exam and once I get my callsign it'll be one of the reasons I'll be chatting to people the world over.

It's science and it's good science.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Finished Product

So here it is, my finished Morse key.
It started with the actual Morse key which was bought for me by my sister for my birthday this year. I was advised by a member of Leicester Radio Society to attach it to a heavy base to stop it moving around while keying. Once again my sister helped out a got hold of a decent piece of scrap from work which was luckily near perfect to the size I had asked for.
I then went to an engineering company I deliver to and asked for a favour which was for two holes to be drilled with larger holes underneath to accommodate a couple of nuts. This was done in return for a selection of biscuits that I was happy to hand over.
Today the sticky backed felt and rubber feet arrived. I finished the base so that it's now anti-scratch and anti-skid.
I'd like to thank everyone involved in getting this project finished. It's a solid bit of kit and will provide many hours of CW.
That's if I pass my Foundation Licence.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Life's A Buzz

I had my maker head on yesterday and made a small buzzer for my morse key.

It has to be the simplest circuit ever. Just a couple of AA cells running a 6v buzzer and both of the open ends terminating at a couple of banana plugs. The circuit is made by the morse key and it goes buzz. It's not quite a clean morse tone but it'll do as I get used to listening to the letters instead of decoding them in my head.
It's all housed in a little project box and is nicely portable so that I can practice anywhere that the mood takes me.

It's certainly not the best buzzer in the world but I made it so it's better than one I could have bought.